06 April 2018


I am still finding it hard to settle on a particular project 🙁I have started no less than 3 BOM's this year already and it's only April! I have justified each as they are pattern only and I am using stash only for 2 of them 😀

Two are by Sarah Fielke

In January I started  Simple Folk, a mix of piecing and appliqué

I started with a Nordic inspired Red, White & Blue FQ bundle and then added some Dutch Chintz scraps I had to the mix, I have the first 3 blocks appliquéd and the 4th prepared. After a lot of indecision I am really happy with my colours for this one.

The pieced blocks will stay as Red, White & Blue I think, lots more machine piecing to do!

In February I started Grasshopper, all hand work "It's all about the journey Grasshopper" again a BOM by Sarah Fielke

I bought a gorgeous fabric for the back, the rest is mostly stash

No stitching, but I have prepared some of the border blocks for hand piecing

Finally, in March I started Jen Kingwell's Template only BOM 'Golden Days'

This is her quilt so far

It is a very busy quilt and I love it, but I don't think I have the confidence or experience to mix so many different colours together, so for my version I plan on a limited colour palette inspired by the 100th anniversary of Women's Suffrage here in the UK of Ivory, purples and greens. (with a sparkle of yellow 😀)

I am almost finished the first block

No new starts in April yet 🤣

17 March 2018

Is it Just Me?

I am waiting for my Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt to come back from the long arm quilter; I enjoyed every minute of working on that quilt and now I feel at a bit of a loss as to what to start next; does anyone else miss working on a quilt when it's done or is it just me? Don't get me wrong, I love starting new projects but I am not quite ready to move on yet 😀

I haven't exactly been idle...

I have been hand quilting my Happy Days while I wait, good progress is being made, just one small corner to do and then I need to decide what to quilt in the border

I made a sewing pouch for all my hand piecing/EPP tools, so I can keep them together, this is a Lynette Anderson pattern, I changed the embroidery design to use some of her buttons that I have had for years; it's very useful and holds everything I need.

I also made a thread holder for all my appliqué threads and tools; I bought one about 20 years ago from Pat Campbell, but it had started to shred, so I copied the design and made it a bit bigger (room for more threads 😀) The clever part is the strip of Ultrasuede sewn to each pocket, you can thread your appliqué threads through it and then just pull off a length without opening the pocket.
(I have since discovered that Karen Buckley now sells these, but her's are smaller like the original)

25 February 2018

A very productive day

It has turned bitterly cold here this week, so after a brisk walk with the dog first thing, I got busy in my sewing room.

I spent all morning (!) making a zip up tray pouch, the idea is clever but I am not really happy with the one I have made, maybe it needs to settle down into it's shape?

I like that when you un zip it, it forms a tray so you can see the contents easily

After lunch I decided that some faster projects were needed !  I bought a metre each of these fabrics on sale, I thought the Dale horses would be good for my Simple Folk quilt, but it is a very corse open weave cotton.

Not really suitable for appliqué, but good for making zipped project pouches, I really like lined fabric bags for my on-going projects, much nicer than a plastic bag for carrying to quilt group.

I had enough fabric to make a big one and a small one

Finally I wanted to make some kind of portable design pad, so that I could layout my pieces ready to stitch and then pin and roll it up to transport it easily.

This is simply a layer of wadding sandwiched between two pieces of fabric, inside is a padded surface I can pin my pieces to.

Earlier in the week I finished the binding on this small quilt for Project Linus  the fabrics were all donated to our group by the family of a quilter who had sadly passed away,  our group have made several quilts from her stash and there is a lot more fabric!

I am not sure if next week will be as productive, but the cold weather is here for a while and my sewing room is cosy, so we shall see!

18 February 2018

It's all about the colour

I have received several emails since my last post about my process for choosing fabrics for a new project, so I will try and explain a little better.

I don't have a background in art and I am by no means an expert!

When I first started quilting more than 20 years ago, I played safe, I chose either a print fabric and then pulled colours from that print or I bought a collection of fabrics e.g. a fat quarter bundle.  There is nothing wrong with this but I realised early on that I was drawn to scrap quilts, I love them 😀 the more fabrics the better! Why use one green fabric when you can use 30 😀 The problem with scrap quilts,  is that if you are not careful they can end up looking like a bit of dog's dinner.  The way I try and avoid this is to limit the number of colours in the quilt, not the number of fabrics.

One of the best things I have bought is a colour swatch guide, this one is by Joen Wolfrom, it really helps me to identify colours in fabrics

When I start a new project, I normally have an idea of the sort of look I want, I can get colour inspiration from almost anywhere: magazines, paintings, postcards, photos or from fabrics and other quilters.

For my next project I have started with a piece of fabric I love - this may or may not make it into the final quilt but it is my starting point.  (This is a Liberty Tana Lawn 'Small Susanna')

I really like the fresh colours in this print; looking at a colour wheel helps me to see that this scheme is a split complementary - colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel with an opposite colour for contrast.  In this case Magenta through to Yellow with a complementary Turquoise.

I go through my stash and pull any fabrics in these colours, adding in some ivory as a neutral

The blue is wrong, it took me a while to work out why, but I have pulled Cerulean blue. I don't have any Turquoise in my stash, I could go and buy some, but I do have some lovely Aqua Greens, so I start again with those

I like the pinks, oranges etc in the original fabric, so again I check the colour wheel and see that Aqua green sits opposite Red, I then look at the colours either side of Red and decide to chose from Fuchsia through to Golden Yellow, with my complementary Aqua Green

I go back to my stash and pull anything that might work

I leave the piles of fabric where I can see them and look at them each time I am passing, adding or subtracting any that stand out.  I find it really helps, if I start by thinking about what I don't want, this quilt is to be quite bright with clear colours, so I pull out all the fabrics with a Grey muted feel.  I also decided I want colour to do the work not value, so I pulled all the very lights too. I will add contrast with a fresh ivory instead. The pattern I am thinking of making is very intricate with small pieces, so again I decided to eliminate large prints/patterns and will work just with solids or tone on tone fabrics.

This is not the final selection, I need to buy some more fuchsia/magenta and maybe a couple more golden yellow/oranges to give enough variety, but it is a starting point and these colours will give me the look I was after.

I hope that has been helpful, colour is a very personal thing and what looks good to one person can look hideous to another.  If it looks good to you then it is right and don't let anyone tell you that your colours are wrong 😀